Clustering Technique to Find a Topic

In your English class, you will learn the importance of total writing process as a key to the development of the writing skills you will need in order to cope with the demands of collegiate studies. Writing process involves finding a topic, writing your draft and re-writing the final copy. The end result could be a research paper or a three page essay or 5 to 10 sentence paragraph.

In your pre-writing, you will need to find a topic. Sift through a number of ideas in order to find a topic that interest you to write about. Clustering is another technique that can help you when you are trying to find a topic for writing. It is a nonlinear brainstorming process created by Professor Gabriel Lusser Rico of San Jose State University of California.

In clustering, you will begin with one word in the middle of a page and draw a circle around it. Then, as brainstorming, allow your mind to flow freely and write any word that comes to you or anything that the preceding words bring to mind. Each word must be circled and connected to the word that suggested it. When the given time is over, look at the cluster as you allow your mind to go over the words until you find one that seems interesting or that you think you can discuss with some competence or that you can feel strongly about. This technique has an advantage over brainstorming in that you may not only find a topic but supporting points as well.